28 August 2012

Of Being a Chosen People

Has a piece of Scripture ever been so beautiful you could not help but physically hold it close, clinging to these words of hope?

I feel as though this may have happened for me in the past, when I was in the valley and it felt the whole world was sliding against me and I needed something, anything, from His Word to pull me through.

But today was different.

I've been in the middle of what I would call a "dry spell" - a season in which, while I don't necessarily feel far from God, I don't feel particularly close, either.  I read His Word and I glean spiritual truth, but nothing really stirs.  My study and devotional time lack emotional depth.

I have followed Jesus long enough to know these periods happen - as they do in any relationship.  I long for this to not be true in my relationship with my Heavenly Father, for whom my every breath exists - I wish I could say He was forefront in my mind all the time and that I whisper Scripture while I clean my home, but you already know I don't really clean my home, so it would be piling the lies on, really.  But the truth of the matter is, sometimes I let my everyday living take place apart from the glory of grace.  And I get distracted and pulled away.

That's why I so surprised this morning, while catching up on my Bible Study of James (via Beth Moore's "Mercy Triumphs"), as I was engrossed in the findings of the Jerusalem Council, declaring Gentiles free from Jewish Law, yet receiving the same Holy Spirit as the Jews, I literally began stroking my fingers across the most beautiful words of 1 Peter 2:9-10

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."

Oh.  It fills me to my toes.  And completely caught me off guard.

Who knew that was what I needed to hear?  I certainly did not.  But God did.

This remarkable opening of the gates to the Gentiles has long been to me a precious aspect of the story of God's New Testament grace - from the very speaking of Simeon, declaring Jesus a "light for revelation to the Gentiles" (Luke 2:32).

Because I am a Gentile - a group once considered to be the outsiders.  The mere on-lookers and, in the worst cases, enemies, of God's people Israel.  While a few strands were worked into the beautiful tapestry of God's Old Testament stories, for the most part, the Gentiles did not receive a kind word or an offering for redemption.

And, yet, I am a part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a people for His own possession.

We are not just the late-comers.  The red-headed step-children He decided might as well come along, too.  No.  We are chosen.  We have received mercy and we have been called into marvelous light.

I cannot help but breathe deeply with the truth of these words.

Revel in His grace and mercy.  You belong to Him!

1,000 Gifts:
805. Truth
806. Scripture in my language
807. His Marvelous Light
808. Putting things back together
809. Memories
810. The old becoming new

Photo of the Day:
This is Emmett "hiding" after his bath.  He makes me smile.

Whole 30 - Day 21:
Breakfast - Scrambled Eggs, Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice
Lunch - Leftover Fondue Meat, Salad, Grapes, Crunchy Broccoli Slaw, Cherries
Snack - Plantain Chips
Dinner - Mexican Chicken Soup (a South Beach Diet recipe)

Worst Part of Today: Running out of Plantain Chips.

Best Part of Today: Realizing how much I've enjoyed eating lunch lately.  It's so nice to not just be going to the old sandwich fallback every day and, yet, doing more than just salads.  Also, we haven't been eating lunch in front of the TV, so it feels less rushed.

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